Bars help blind identify $
Thursday, July 5 2012
The Central Bank has plans to add tactile features to all Trinidad and Tobago bank notes in 2013.
This according to the bank’s Senior Manager of Operations, Alister Noel, in response to concerns raised by the TT Blind Welfare Association (BWA) about the planned introduction of a $50 note next month to commemorate this country’s 50th Anniversary of Independence. The $50 note features bars which the blind can touch to help identify the currency of the bill.
“We have something scheduled for next year (2013), it’s just a matter of managing inventory. It’s our intention that next year people would see tactile features...similar to those in the $50 note in our other currency but I can’t say exactly when that will be,” Noel explained.
He was referring to three main tactile features on the front of the olive green $50 note— six tactile bars each on the top left and right sides, a holographic square on the right side and enlarged raised numerals “50”on the lower right and left corners of the note.
Noel was speaking to the media following the bank’s latest “Know Your Money” seminar, this one specifically about the soon-to-be in circulation $50 note. The seminar was held at Central Bank, Port-of-Spain yesterday.
The BWA last week raised concerns about having to find new techniques to differentiate the $50 from the five other notes currently used as legal tender in TT: $1, $5, $10, $20 and $100.
BWA’s Welfare Officer II, Kenneth Suratt, made several suggestions “to reduce the dependence of a blind person on a sighted person to identify his money.”
These included using clearly defined colours and large printed numbers for visually-impaired persons as well as using different sized currency for each note.
Yesterday’s seminar was conducted by Matt West, Regional Manager of the UK-based printer of TT’s notes and coins, De La Rue Currency.
Referring to features designed to help visually-impaired persons clearly identify which notes they were handling at any point in time, West said when new editions of the $100 note are printed, they would include seven tactile bars each on the top left and right sides of the front of the note. So six bars for the $50 note and seven for the $100 note. By counting the number of bars and the raised numerals that correspond with the value of the note, in future, visually-impaired persons would be able to independently identify which currency they had in their hands.